Somewhere in the Skies

EPISODE SUMMARY: Ryan Sprague welcomes author and professor of religious studies, Diana Walsh Pasulka to the show to talk about her new book, American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology. More than half of American adults and more than seventy-five percent of young Americans believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life. This level of belief rivals that of belief in God. American Cosmic examines the mechanisms at work behind the thriving belief system in extraterrestrial life, a system that is changing and even supplanting traditional religions. Over the course of a six-year ethnographic study, Pasulka interviewed successful and influential scientists, professionals, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who believe in extraterrestrial intelligence, thereby disproving the common misconception that only fringe members of society believe in UFOs. American Cosmic explores the intriguing question of how people interpret unexplainable experiences and argues that the media is replacing religion as a cultural authority that offers believers answers about non-human intelligent life and the enigmatic phenomena often connected to all this—UFOs.